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34 TRAVEL ADVISORY Despite a wealth of European cars to choose from at rental companies, our request for a Toyota produced a Yaris, punted as a five-seater and an upgrade from the tiny-car category many Europeans find adequate. The Avensis is a bigger rental option. Keeping off the highways and on the byways, we avoided the hefty tolls taxed on the former. The freeways are not free by a long shot and we ended up paying about R1 500 in tolls and R2 000 in rental for a transponder. Although Portuguese drivers disregard speed limits, they are courteous. On most roads, traffic flows seamlessly thanks to the use of roundabouts instead of robots. TOP PICKS FOR UNFORGETTABLE STAYS Pousada Viana do Castelo and Pousada Mosteiro Guimarães. Check out the seniors discount at these small luxury hotels. www.pousadas.pt Solar de Serrade, Monção, a splendid historic springboard for wine tourism in the Minho region. www.solardeserrade.pt Casa Agricola da Levada, Vila Real, a 100% eco-friendly base for the Douro region. Slow-travel certified. www.casadalevada.com Quinta de Seves, Covilhã, quiet country house, speciality lodgings and the best of rural tourism. www.quintadeseves.pt Albergaria Vila Lido, Praia da Rocha, where hosts Francisco and Julia proved that their 9.4 rating on Booking.com is well deserved. www.vilalido.pt


1-October-2016
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